Case Study: The Willows at Ramapo Rehabilitation and Nursing Center (January 2020)

Patient’s Name: Theresa Nye-Reed
Patient’s Age: 78-years-old
Admission Date: 12/02/19
Admitted From: Good Samaritan Hospital
Discharge Date: 01/10/20
Discharged To: Home
Length of Stay: 39 days
Reason for Stay: Pneumonia

Details of Experience:
Theresa, accompanied by her daughter, was warmly welcomed to our community after an in-patient stay at Good Samaritan Hospital. Her primary admitting diagnosis was Pneumonia. She also arrived with a history of lung cancer, respiratory failure, and COPD.

Upon arriving at our community, Theresa was greeted by our concierge director, Yehuda, who welcomed her and guided her to her suite. After settling in she was assessed by our clinical team, who reviewed her medications and upcoming orders. Later in the day, our Therapy Team met with Theresa for introductions and their assessments. The Physical, Occupational, and Respiratory Therapists assessed her current condition and set goals for her stay and anticipated discharge. She was, unfortunately, very compromised as a result of her lung cancer diagnosis. She also had severe shortness of breath. It had progressed to the point where even talking for more than one minute would cause her to be short-of-breath. The slightest activity would drop her oxygen levels. Despite her physical condition, Theresa kept a good sense of humor and was very pleasant. She stated that she had accepted her prognosis and was ready to face whatever time she had left with a smile.

The Therapy Team immediately began working with Theresa. The first few days were very difficult for her. She was very limited with the length of activity/exercise she could tolerate due to her shortness of breath and decrease in oxygen levels. In the first week, Physical and Occupational Therapy could only complete very light and short activities and required long breaks afterward to allow recovery back to baseline. They attempted to also complete light strengthening exercises with very little to no weight or resistance. A focus was put on pursed lipped breathing to help decrease the frequency and severity of her shortness of breath. Through it all Theresa kept her sense of humor and spirit. Just when it looked like she had reached a plateau, Theresa began making noticeable strides. Every day she was beginning to make more and more progress; Theresa was a new woman. Physical Therapy was now able to complete walking tasks alongside her with the assistance of a rolling walker. They were also able to use resistance and weights to help build her strength up.

Alongside Occupational Therapy, Theresa was able to begin performing additional self-care tasks, even dressing! Our team guided her energy-conserving techniques to assist her through her morning routine. She was even able to attempt oxygen weaning tasks with moderate success – something she never thought possible upon admission. Nearing her anticipated discharge date home, Theresa grew stronger. She was able to let her personality really show, inspiring our team and those around her. She enjoyed joking around with her therapists and nursing staff.

Theresa was visited daily by our concierge, Yehuda. She greatly enjoyed receiving visitors and was always thanking the staff for all that they did for her.

In just a little more than a month’s time, Theresa was able to achieve great strides and was able to reach her goal of returning home. The difference from when Theresa arrived at our community and from when she left was nothing short of miraculous. Despite her initial poor prognosis, Theresa proved that a positive attitude and a good sense of humor can really take one a long way in recovery!